Liverpool face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium today, a little over one year on from a 4-0 win. Let’s have a look back at that XI.
Leicester City were second in the Premier League when Liverpool rocked up at their place and won 4-0 last season. It was a sensational performance.
We labelled it their best showing of the season at the time. We haven’t seen a better one since.
In fact, we’re not entirely sure we’ve seen a better one under Jurgen Klopp. It’s an all-time great display, in our eyes.
It came on Boxing Day 2019 and this was the game where Liverpool let everyone know they were champions. No one was catching them.
Here were their nearest challengers, after all, playing on their home patch and Liverpool crushed them. The Reds were just flawless.
So as Liverpool again travel to Leicester today, we thought we’d have a look back on the XI that won that day. It certainly won’t be the XI today.
Alexander-Arnold – Gomez – Van Dijk – Robertson
Keita – Henderson – Wijnaldum
Salah – Firmino – Mane
The only part of that team we’ll see today is the forward three. The rest is all shaken up.
Both Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are out long-term, of course. We likely won’t see either again this season.
Then Naby Keita is missing, too, and has been since before Christmas. Jordan Henderson might be in defence, too, as Fabinho will miss the Leicester game.
One look at this and you see Liverpool’s problem this season – they were a set team with every piece slotting together nicely. Now they’re a disjointed mess.
But we already knew that.
Instead, we can see how Klopp should probably set his team up today. It’s something we’ve pointed out recently, in fact.
The midfield here is a winning combination. It features a holding player, a box-to-box player and an advanced, more progressive midfielder in Keita.
That pattern crept up in our analysis of Liverpool’s midfields this season. Liverpool boast their best record with this blend.
When they lack that latter midfielder, they’re a less impressive side. It’s why, for instance, Curtis Jones has only suffered one defeat in a game he’s started – and that was against Manchester City.
Keita, too, has a fine record. He started alongside Jones, in fact, when Liverpool beat Leicester 3-0 at Anfield this season.
Even if neither player are perfect – Keita has always struggled to adapt and Jones just turned 20 – having someone of that type improves Liverpool.
And so we hope Klopp takes that message from last year. Liverpool need that kind of midfielder in the team today.
With Keita missing, it should probably guarantee a start for Jones.